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Rapist who put his victim in cage and treated her like a dog jailed for more than 13 years

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A rapist who put his victim in a cage and treated her like a dog in a violent tirade of sexual abuse has been jailed for more than 13 years.

Connor Jay McLachlan, 28, from Port Talbot, Wales, crushed the woman’s self-esteem so much that she was convinced he would be acquitted of all charges against him.

Instead, the 28-year-old was found guilty of 11 charges, including rape and sexual assault, following a trial at Swansea Crown Court.

Every time the woman tried to end her relationship with McLachlan he would bombard her with messages, turn up at her door, refuse to take no for an answer, and spread messages about her on social media.

Despite the physical, emotional and sexual violence, his victim, who must remain anonymous for legal reasons, said his constant manipulation and control meant: ‘It was easier to live with the abuse than have the backlash of him. It was easier to just shut up.’

Connor Jay McLachlan, 28, (pictured) was jailed for 13 years and three months for subjecting his victim to a violent tirade of sexual abuse

Connor Jay McLachlan, 28, (pictured) was jailed for 13 years and three months for subjecting his victim to a violent tirade of sexual abuse

After one violent incident, the victim was forced to walk home to her property covered in bruises and with ripped clothes and no phone

After one violent incident, the victim was forced to walk home to her property covered in bruises and with ripped clothes and no phone

McLachlan isolated his victim from her family and friends, encouraged her to move to an area away from her support systems and blamed her for the violence he inflicted on her.

He made her believe it was her fault that he couldn’t control himself, that it was her fault that he would beat and rape her and that she deserved to be forced to act like a dog and be spat on.

It was only after a traumatic incident in which she lost a baby while pregnant and McLachlan screamed at her that she decided she couldn’t put up with the abuse any more. 

She successfully cut him off for two weeks but the day she returned to her home he turned up and tried to force his way in.

The woman said: ‘That’s when I reported it then because I thought: “He’s going to kill me”.’

McLachlan was arrested in September 2023. In March, he was found guilty of controlling or coercive behaviour; intentional strangulation; four counts of damaging property; assault occasioning actual bodily harm; sending a letter to cause distress; two counts of sexual assault; and rape.

He was found not guilty of two further counts of intentional strangulation and rape. On April 25, he was jailed for 13 years and three months and handed a rare lifetime restraining order prohibiting him from contacting his victim. He will serve at least 10 years in prison before he is eligible for release.

Despite the prison sentence, the victim says she still feels terrified of her former partner. She said: ‘I don’t sleep because of it, my anxiety is awful. I keep getting flashbacks. I am [still scared], I know when he says something he means it. Even now he is in jail he’s told people he will wait until he is out.’

As well as physical violence, McLachlan was convicted of controlling or coercive behaviour, something his former partner started almost immediately.

Here is a look at the type of messages McLachlan would send his victim

Each time the woman tried to break up with him he would bombard her with messages like this

Every time the woman tried to end her relationship with McLachlan he would bombard her with messages

She said: ‘He started controlling me straight away. He’d take my phone, reply to my friends’ messages or message people so that we wouldn’t speak. To be honest I didn’t really notice it in the beginning. Other people would tell me things about him and I would brush it off.

‘I think you just learn to live with it. It got worse when I moved here because I was out of the way of everyone, I didn’t have any friends, and I wasn’t allowed to see anyone. 

‘He completely isolated me. If I wasn’t with him he would ring me non stop and I’d have to answer him. I’d have to answer him straight away. If I didn’t he would come here kicking off so I would have to put the children in bed so they wouldn’t see it.’

The woman claimed one of the physical attacks even happened in public.

She recalled: ‘He beat me up one night after we had been out drinking. He dragged me by my hair, strangled me, I thought he was going to kill me in the lane by my house. He didn’t care about being in public.’

The victim continued: ‘It was always that I pushed him. At one point he had a machete to my hair and said he was going to kill me. He just wanted more and more from me. 

‘He took my phone and keys off me and hid them so I couldn’t leave. I did try to get out of the window but he dragged me back in. When we went to bed then that’s when that [rape] happened.’

After one violent incident, she was forced to walk home to her property covered in bruises and with ripped clothes and no phone. She said: ‘It was humiliating. He could have taken me but he wanted the humiliation of that.’

In videos shared with a reporter, McLachlan can be seen ripping the woman’s Ring doorbell camera off the wall and smashing it. On voice notes he can be heard screaming aggressively at her. He can be heard shouting that she has options ‘to help herself’ from his abuse by complying.

The victim said: ‘He wanted to kill me. It was always the same eyes and I’ve even got a scar now. And he bit my nose so I have a scar there. My whole body was covered, he ripped all my hair out.

Recalling the five-day trial at Swansea Crown Court (pictured) in March, the victim said it was 'petrifying'

Recalling the five-day trial at Swansea Crown Court (pictured) in March, the victim said it was ‘petrifying’

‘It got to the point where it was every other day to every day. He would put me in the kitchen and make me act like a dog. He would spit on me and put me in the cage and treat me like a dog.’

She said that her injuries meant she would rarely leave the house and on times she did it was only to take her children to school, adding: ‘I’d run the kids to school and come straight back and that was my day. I couldn’t take the children to school when I was black and blue. I was lying to everyone.’

McLachlan’s threatening messages included tirades like: ‘You’ve got options here now to help yourself. Help me to help you because I can’t control myself, like you already know. I’m not turning around, nothing is going to stop me. So ring me now, while I’m still calm, before I’m losing my head.’

Recalling the five-day trial at Swansea Crown Court in March, the victim said it was ‘petrifying’. She said McLachlan was laughing from the dock, prompting the judge to highlight his lack of accountability and remorse.

The woman added: ‘It traumatised me so much. I went to the court behind a board because I didn’t want to see his face but I wanted the jury to see how small I was compared to him. It was scary being in the same room as him, I didn’t want to be anywhere near him.’

Speaking of the verdict, she said, ‘I was quite gobsmacked, because he put so much blame on me I thought he would get away with it.

‘He’s knocked so much confidence out of me.The amount of self doubt and lack of confidence I have. I think if she didn’t come to my house that day I’d still be crying in the corner.

‘I just want people to know who he is and what he is and to prevent this from happening to anyone else. And because I need to get over it as well and I need to realise that it wasn’t my fault. I want to help other people too.’



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